A Message from the Chair...
Fall Eyring Lecture
Nov 13, 6:30 pm PSH 152
Nov 14, 3:40 pm PSH 151
Peter G. Schultz
The Scripps Research Institute
Fall semester has arrived again, marking what we have come to expect as a tradition in the department’s newsletter namely, a description of the excitement of our students return to campus, a touting of the excellence and impact of research in the department and my announcement of our Homecoming activities. This year is especially noteworthy.
We would be particularly pleased if you could join us at our annual Homecoming Reception to be held on Thursday October 30 at the University Club on the ASU Tempe campus. Details are given elsewhere in this newsletter. At the Homecoming Reception, we will make special note of the major transitions of faculty, staff and alumni. We will celebrate promotions, new arrivals and retirements.
The 2014 -15 academic year once again breaks class records for incoming freshman majors – 386! The department now numbers 1452 majors in both chemistry and biochemistry. We are truly one of the largest chemistry and biochemistry departments in the country.
High quality research continues to be produced by department members at a tremendous pace. Julian Chen has just published another PNAS paper this time on the discovery of a novel functional attribute of human telomerase that provides new insights into the molecular mechanism of the telomerase catalytic cycle. Austen Angell was back in the pages of Nature Materials with a News &Views on the significance and accuracy of three new papers in Nature and PNAS on the weirdness of metastable water.
Hilairy Hartnett, along with Jessie Shipp (2013 Ph.D. in Chemistry & Biochemistry), Ian Gould, Lynda Williams and Everett Shock have just published in PNAS finding that a common sulfide mineral (ZnS, or Sphalerite) cleanly catalyzes a fundamental chemical reaction - the making and breaking of a C-H bond. Ariel Anbar and coworkers have just published a paper in Nature Leukemia demonstrating how a staple of earth science research can be used in biomedical settings to predict the course of disease.
Petra Fromme has recently been appointed by president Michael M. Crow to lead a new Biodesign Institute initiative, called the Center for Applied Structural Discovery, that will have a significant impact on the fields of bioenergy, enzyme catalysis and drug discovery. The center will use powerful X-ray lasers to examine the tiny molecular structures that make chemical reactions in our cells possible.
John Chaput and Wade Van Horn have just received a new four-year, multi-million dollar award from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or DARPA, which will be used to design and produce synthetic molecules destined for a broad range of practical uses. The artificial molecules will be capable of folding into various 3D shapes, forming antibody-like structures that can bind with biological entities as well as perform catalytic feats—speeding up the rate of chemical reactions essential for living systems.
Devens Gust has recently been awarded with the 2014 Hans Fischer Lifetime Achievement Award in Porphyrin Chemistry, in Istanbul, Turkey by the Society of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines. It was given to Gust for his incisive research over four decades on porphyrins and similar materials. Another new award goes to Ariel Anbar who has been selected as Arizona State University's first Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor. This distinguished honor recognizes Anbar's pioneering research and teaching.
Please read this newsletter and visit our website at http://chemistry.asu.edu or contact me ( 480 965-2476 or Dan.Buttry@asu.edu) to learn more about what we are doing. I hope that you will also find time to drop by our Homecoming Reception and tell us about your current involvements and give us the chance to fill you in on other department activities.
With best regards,
Professor and Chair
Chemistry and Biochemistry